China Eastern Airlines has taken delivery of its first Airbus A350-900 in Toulouse (TLS). It is the first of 20 planes the carrier is expecting to receive. China Eastern became the latest operator of this successful, efficient aircraft.
The Shanghai-based carrier is configuring the aircraft in a four-class configuration with 288 seats, including four in First Class, 36 in Business Class, 32 in Premium Economy Class, and 216 in Economy Class. The aircraft is powered by Rolls-Royce Trent engines.
The aircraft’s registration is B-304D.
China Eastern now operates a fleet of 358 Airbus aircraft consisting of 307 A320 family and 50 A330-200/300 planes. The airline is the largest Airbus operator in Asia and the second largest in the world.
The airline will use the A350-900 on long-haul routes after an initial spell using the twinjet on domestic routes.
The A350 offers increased comfort through the new Airbus Airspace cabin, featuring controlled temperature and humidity, full connectivity with next-generation in-flight entertainment, and LED ambient lighting.
Liu Shaoyong, China Eastern’s Chairman, stated that this aircraft allows China Eastern to “embark on a new phase” and will “open a new chapter in the international development of China Eastern Airlines.”
“China Eastern carries more than 400,000 passengers across the world on a daily basis, and every year takes more than 120 million air travelers to 1,074 destinations in 174 nations and regions. All these safe and sound trips cannot be made without quality aircraft and engines,” Shaoyong said
The first A350-900 will launch its maiden flight from Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport to Beijing Capital International Airport on Dec 4.
Flights will then expand to other major destinations including Guangzhou, and Chengdu before flying international long-haul routes from Shanghai to Europe, Australia, and North America in January, 2019.
Featured image from Chinadaily.com